For 20 years the Corpo Forestale, Italys special environmental corps, has been compiling a census of the Italian forests, which include more than 2,000 examples of trees of special interest and 150 trees that are classified as being of exceptional historic and monumental value. These trees, which grow all over Italy, include a liriodendro near Como over 50 metres high, a chestnut tree near Catania with a trunk with a circumference of over 20 metres and an oleastro di S. Baltolu in Sardinia estimated to be more than 2,000 years old. A new law has just been announced by the ministry of agriculture that will make damaging a historic tree a criminal offence, so that anyone tampering with one of these plants will not only be fined but may risk a prison sentence as well.